Community Programs

Halloween
Spooktacular

October 27

Friday, October 27th
6:30 – 8:00pm

Get into the Halloween spirit by joining us for this spooktacular celebration, NCNC-style. We’ll learn about and meet some creepy critters who remind us of All Hallows Eve (spiders, bats, snakes, & more), before getting the chance to make our very own slime. We’ll wrap up the evening by enjoying a one-of- a-kind jack-o- lantern experience. Costumes are encouraged.

Awesome
Autumn Day

November 7

Tuesday, November 7th
1:00 – 3:00pm

Vote for Nature this Election Day! Come on over to NCNC to enjoy a beautiful autumn day with your kids and the NCNC naturalists. Frolic in the leaves and take part in field games, such as pumpkin ring toss, corn hole, and parachute games, anytime from 1-3pm. Naturalists will also be leading autumn-themed relay races across the Green!

Friday Family Fun Night:
The Science of Wildlife

November 10

Friday, November 10th
6:30 – 8:00pm

Join us to discover the science behind how animals are especially adapted to survive in their natural habitats. Through hands-on experiments and interactive games & activities, we’ll learn how an animal’s skeletal structure & body coverings impact its body temperature, movement, eating habits, and ability to protect itself from predators. You’ll even get the chance to meet an animal or two during this fun and engaging, family-friendly program!

Weekend Waddle

November 25

Saturday, November 25th
Naturalist-led Trail Treks depart the Sugar Shack at 10:00am & 11:00am

Grab the entire family (and any lingering holiday visitors too!) and head on down to the New Canaan Nature Center! Join the NCNC Naturalists for a healthy, invigorating Trail Trek to work off that holiday meal. As an extra Thanksgiving bonus, after our hike, you’ll also get to enjoy a FREE behind the scenes tour of our Animal Care facilities & Birds of Prey Exhibit – our way of saying “thank you” to the community.

Winter Wonderland

December 16

Come and be transported into a whole new world as the New Canaan Nature Center transforms into a Winter Wonderland filled with fun and exciting seasonal activities for the entire family. Festivities include visits with Santa, horse-drawn wagon rides, holiday trains, campfire with chestnuts & marshmallow roasting, our annual gingerbread house creation contest, and more!

Owl Moon Night Hike

 January 20

Let the light of the FULL moon be your guide as we explore magic in the woods and unravel the mysteries of our nocturnal neighbors, the owls. We’ll discover how owls use their keen senses to navigate the night and learn first-hand how they can hunt in the dark. We’ll even “give a hoot” and see if we can identify owls by their tell-tale calls, before getting to meet a couple owls up close & personal.

Adopt-a-Tree:
Community Syruping Program

February 3

Adopt a maple tree for the season! Learn about and participate weekly in the entire syrup making process, from tapping a maple tree to sap collections and boil downs. You’ll even get your very own bottle of NCNC-made maple syrup at our Pot-luck dinner in March.

Syrup Saturday &
Pancake Brunch

March 10

Bring the whole family and join us for our annual end of syrup season celebration – you won’t want to miss our famously delicious Pancakes & PJs party, complete with TONS of fun syrup-related activities! We’ll be serving up flapjacks, syrup, and an array of tasty toppings in the Visitor Center, while leading tree tapping demos, a real maple sap “boil down” campfire with marshmallows, real v. fake syrup taste test, and more outdoors.

The Great Egg Hunt &
Spring Celebration

March 29-31

Perfect for children, ages 2-10, our egg hunts are designed for smaller groups (approximately 25 per hunt) and, in addition to the hunt, include an egg & spoon obstacle course and meet & greet with our baby chicks & bunny rabbits. Just BYOB (bring your own basket) for collecting eggs (which contain nature-themed prizes and nut-free sweets).

Earth Day
Events

April 23

Earth Day is April 22nd so come CELEBRATE the whole week leading up to Earth Day with us!

Spring Peepers
Night Hike

April 20

Come explore the magic of spring and Earth Day with us! We’ll visit the Nature Center’s vernal pools and ponds to listen for the peeps and croaks of frogs and other amphibians that let us know spring is in full swing. We’ll also journey through the woods and into the meadows in search of some awesome invertebrates, birds, and bats.

Community
Garden

May – October

“Adopt” a plot in our community garden for the growing season (May-October)! Each 4×4 foot plot is located in a deer-fenced and gopher-protected area near the Herb Garden and all participants will have access to tools, watering facilities, and community guidance. The perfect opportunity for novices and experienced gardens, alike!

Great American
Campout

July 23-24

Join us for an evening full of fun and adventure by camping out in New Canaan’s favorite backyard! You won’t want to miss the fun & games on the Green, BBQ dinner, night hike, and campfire complete with S’mores. In the morning, enjoy a light breakfast of bagels, juice, & coffee. Just bring your own tents & camping gear, we’ll provide the rest.

Night of
1,000 Fireflies

July 7

Come and enjoy the magic of the midsummer night at the Nature Center. Join our Naturalists as we search for woodland creatures (wiggly worms & aquatic amphibians) and other enchanted mysteries of the evening, before delighting in the awe-inspiring beauty of our meadows aglow with the soft light of 1,000+ fireflies!

Creatures of the Night…
Hike!

August 25

How do your nighttime senses compare to those of the nocturnal animals that call NCNC home? Join us for a guided night hike and try your hand at our naturalist-led challenges to find out! First we’ll put your night vision to the test to find out if you can see as well as an owl in the dark. Then we’ll focus on your sense of smell, hearing and touch!

Cider
Saturday

September TBD

Celebrate the fall cider season here at NCNC! Come and enjoy an early autumn afternoon of family fun with cider press demonstrations, old-fashioned games, honey bee hive tours, a pumpkin scavenger hunt, seasonal harvest crafts for kids, baked apples, and corn bread on a stick. Fill your bellies with delicious corn dogs, grilled corn, fresh cider, and baked goodies, all available for purchase.